In a nutshell
I’m a big believer in the idea that true achievement comes from clearing the goals you set for yourself, not overcoming the barriers others set for you.
The idea explained
This means it’s up to each of us to take stock of where we are, how we got there and where we are heading. Not just once a year, in a loose attempt to set some kind of resolutions for the new year. No.
But to constantly be aware of how we’re progressing towards the goals we’ve set for ourselves. And it’s that last bit that’s arguably the most important.
We all need clear goals. Goals, big or small, are great things that can keep us all focused and moving forwards. Without an idea of your direction, it’s all too easy to drift and fail to achieve.
Drifting by allowing others to tell you whats worthy of your time, or what’s a good outcome in any given situation. Without goals we let others impose limits on us, set our priorities, and perpetually live in our comfort zone.
Executing the idea
Seeking new challenges is the key to breaking out of the comfort zone. On paper this sounds easy right? For instance, completing a book first time if you’re not a reader, starting an exercise routine to improve your health, or taking on a new project at work that stretches you.
However, more often than not the challenges we face aren’t as simple at this. They’re often the result of downward pressure generated by the current context we find ourselves in. For instance, that project is assigned to you by your boss, the health routine is mandated by the social pressure of everyone around you in that post-christmast period, and that book? Probably a gift you feel obliged to read.
Take stock of the challenges your facing today. Consider how they match up to your goals – that vision of where you truly want to be. And if you don’t have one, take a step back, put some time aside to think and visualise what the ‘best’ you looks like.
Ultimately; if you think you’re not heading where you want to go, or that you’ve become too comfortable in your current context and don’t feel the same pressure to perform you once did, switch things up with a fresh set of challenges.
Life is short and prioritising progression, whether that’s at the personal or professional level, is never a bad thing!
An example from my life
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you how to live your life. So here’s an example of how I am trying to live out this idea.
Two days ago I left a job with a team I loved and moved to a country whose language I don’t speak, to do a Master which I fear is majorly out of my depth. Why? Because I have a vision of where I want to end up, and I know what micro-level achievements are needed reach that final goal.
For me living in Paris is my new challenge and I know it’ll bring new opportunities for true achievement because it’s a goal I’ve set for myself, not a barrier someone has placed in my path.